HEARTS ON THE MOVE: HIKOYALAR ZAMINI (STORY LAND)WITH ABROR AND LITTLE BEAR
A Dynamic Duo
Several years ago, our founder, Steve Sharp, considered what format would be best utilized for introducing children to the Gospel. Puppets seemed like a good idea. He was still working as a Minister of Music back in those days and from his church’s members, he was able to recruit puppeteers. He had the rights to an animated Bible stories series, but he wanted present the animation in a format that would engage Uzbek children and connect what was taught in the Bible with their every day lives.
That’s about the time Abror joined our ministry. His high energy and heart for sharing the Gospel made him a perfect host for the show, but he needed a sidekick. One of the primary goals of our ministry is to reach the cultural heart of our viewers, so we couldn’t choose any old puppet from a local big box store. Much research was done and eventually GHM ordered a culturally appropriate bear puppet from a Russian company. That puppet is Little Bear. A dynamic duo was born.
What Viewers Don’t See
While Little Bear is the character loved and enjoyed by children all over Uzbekistan, they have no idea a very pretty lady is behind their friend’s gestures, personality and action. Lori James, who does hair and make-up for our programs, is also the puppeteer who gives life to Little Bear.
To manipulate Little Bear during a scene, she dons a green screen suit for filming. Then our technicians edit her out of the scene and the magic of Abror and Little Bear is all that’s left to enchant the viewers.
What the Viewers Do See
When an Uzbek child tunes in to see Abror and Little Bear, it’s like being part of a conversation with friends. Abror and Little Bear chat about every day life – a victory, a challenge, a disappointment or a frustration. Abror offers Little Bear advice or encouragement about his situation and then relates it to a story from the Bible. Little Bear is always interested in learning more about the Bible story, so Abror grabs a sketch book to illustrate the story and that’s where we add the animated segment.
From time to time, the scene cuts back to Abror and Little Bear who discuss how the Bible story relates to Little Bear’s situation. In the end, Little Bear shares his personal response to the Bible Story. Uzbek children walk away with the understanding that Jesus loves and cares for them, and that the Bible has answers to all their questions about life. To watch an episode follow this link: https://vimeo.com/131666923.
The Uzbek Hikoyalar Zamini Becomes the Azerbaijani Hekayeler Alemi
The popularity of Abror and Little Bear cannot be denied. In fact, they are so well-loved we are expanding their audience. Hikoyalar Zamini is being translated and lip-synch dubbed into other languages, beginning with Azerbaijani. Next up, if funding is available, Farsi. We hope one day children all over the Middle East and Central Asia will grow to love Abror and Little Bear, the way our Uzbek friends do.
Lip-synch dubbing is more precise than merely throwing a new soundtrack under existing video. In lip-synch dubbing, the dialog in the new language is timed to match the moving lips of the speakers. This is detailed and exacting process, but the result is amazing. We can’t wait to begin airing the episodes for Azerbaijanis.
Join Your Heart to Ours
By partnering with Global Heart Ministries you are helping to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.